Popular Chinese apps to display user locations based on IP address

April 17, 2022 0 Comments

Several popular Chinese app, including Douyin, the domestic version of TikTok, Douyin’s biggest domestic rival Kuaishou, social media e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu, Quora-like Zhihu, Chinese microblogging site Weibo, will soon display users’ location based on their IP addresses, according to the separate statements announced on Friday.

The platform said the move aims to ensure healthy online environment, clean up chaos that prevent netizens from pretending to be news sources and spreading rumors, earning attentions by piggbacking others’ popularity.

According to the statements, the platform will only show IP locations when users post article or leave comment. The platforms will only display users’ country and region if they locate overseas, users locate in China will be detailed provinces or cities.

Beijing-based ByteDance will not only open this feature-displaying users’ location on Douyin, but also its news aggregator Jinri Toutiao.

ByteDance, Xiaohongshu and Zhihu’s implementation followed the similar move by Weibo, which has already supported displaying locations of 15 countries on some users’ profile since March 22, but it will extend the feature to a wider range of user this time.

Chinese online communities, where tens of millions of Chinese users discuss various social topis, has already dealt with tougher scrutiny from regulators since last year following a series of punishment on Chinese social media sites including Zhihu, Quora-like Q&A platform, microblogging site Weibo and social media platform Douban.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) had summoned senior executives of Zhihu for unlawful release of information.

The internet regulator has demanded Zhihu to rectify wrongdoings immediately and accordingly suspend some functions.

In addition, CAC fined microblogging operator Weibo for repeatedly punishing unlawful and forbidden information.

In response, Weibo has launched campaigns to terminate accounts which publish fake news and information that harm China’s socialist values and rectify those accounts which promote obscene information using vulgar language like eryizi, a pejorative referring to effeminate men.

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